Settling in a new country can be difficult task with a lot of confusions that occupy the mind of an expat. Here is the complete guide for an expatriate who wants to settle in the UAE.
It is a fact that expats are a major part of UAE’s success and the global partnerships of the UAE have led to rapid developments in the emirates. To add to the pages of its success story, the country still looks out to foreign expertise and hence there is an increase in the number of jobs in the UAE. There is a lot that an expat needs to know before settling in any of the emirates. The country with more than 80% of expat population is often referred as the expats paradise. Since a lot of expats decide to move in the country, there are some basic things that need proper guidance. Let us understand how can an expat can get access to the basic necessities of daily living and get settled as soon as possible.
The UAE has a subtropical-arid climate with temperature that fluctuates within 30 degree Celsius in winters to 50 degree Celsius in summers. Most of the emirates especially Dubai and Abu Dhabi have a well-constructed infrastructure with all the latest technologies. The country is loaded with amenities that an expat may not be able to enjoy in its home country. Other than these basic things, an expat needs to know about the housing or the rental accommodation, the banking, health and education systems and also what other than work can an expat explore in the UAE.
Getting a house
In the UAE, renting a house till the time you are here is a better option than to own one. The trend is that maximum populations of the expats that live here take a rental property. Rental property is available easily all over the country but living in the UAE comes with a price. It’s better to find one of the highest paying jobs in the UAE and manage the cost of living effectively. The apartments in the UAE come with amenities like air conditioning, running water and electricity.
The prices of these apartments are to be taken care of. With more number of expats settling in the countries each year is going up, the rental rates are also increasing. The first rental index of Dubai says that rents across Dubai will see an 8-20% rise as compared to 2013. The rents depend on the location and type of the apartment that one wants to get.
Although expats willing to buy a property in the UAE will have to go through different legislative rules that will solely depend on the emirate that one decides to live in. Though the real estate market is open to foreign buyers in larger emirates like Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ajman, there are still emirates where the expat can only lend the property from the ruler.
Get a Driving License
Driving in the emirates with an international license is possible if you have been issued the international driving license for more than year regardless of the country your license has been issued. But once a residency visa is issued, you will have to either have to get your international license transferred or get a driving license reissued in the UAE. For expats having nationality of any of these European countries like Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom (UK), the United States of America (USA), Canada, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, their international license can get transferred in UAE.
Expats who belong to other countries will have to take a driving test in the UAE. The driving license can be obtained you have to go through a training with the authorized driving schools and complete a complete procedure of getting a new driving license issued.
Obtaining a driving license makes you eligible to drive a rented car or an owned car. But it is also important to understand the laws that are related to driving in the UAE. There are police patrols and checkpoints all over in the emirates, but it is also possible to stop anywhere in the middle for offences such as crossing the speeding limit. The fines depend on the offence and the Emirate the offence is committed in. The traffic laws are pretty strict and should be adhered carefully.
The Emirates have good quality standards in both public and private hospitals. In bigger cities with huge number of expats, it is easy to find foreign doctors. UAE also generates employment for doctors and other medical staff from all over the world. Rashid Hospital in Dubai is the most modern international hospital in Dubai.
Medication laws are pretty strict in the UAE. The anti-drug policies include some of the prescribed drugs that may be legal in your country but can ban your entry in the UAE. It is advisable to consult the embassy before you enter the UAE to prevent any mishaps.
Education systems in the UAE
The education system of the UAE has undergone some changes since 1965 when the first school was opened that offered girl education. Today, schooling is compulsory for all children that are between 6-12 years. Since the UAE is a favorite expat destination there are international and westernized schools that follow a different curriculum and environment that is suitable for the expat students.
The higher education is provided by the state and the private universities in which state universities have very limited seats for the foreign students and getting through is really tough. The state universities in the UAE include UAE University in Al Ain, the Sheikh Zayed University and Higher Colleges of Technology. Also, there are several private universities that welcome the expat students without much of difficulties and offer a diverse student body.
The Weekend in the UAE
There are numerous places to visit and things to do in the UAE. The travel destinations include Abu Dhabi’s islands, archeological sites of the country, beaches, desert driving and a lot more. There can be an entire list of things to do in the UAE that will keep you occupied for almost any vacation that you may have.
The UAE has a lot to offer in terms of jobs and with greater opportunities to settle in the UAE. Expats from round the world decide to move to the UAE looking forward to a bright future and a better lifestyle. Living in the UAE is a unique experience as the country offers a classy lifestyle and helps in betterment of the expat and the family.